The goal of this deck is to have kill power when Horobi is on the field, but also to function when he's not while still maintaining its own identity.

Step 1: Play lots of land. Some key pieces of our deck, like Retribution of the Ancients and Hex Parasite can take lots of mana, especially if our opponents are going wide. We’ve also got a nice spread of artifact-based ramp (Thaumatic Compass  , Caged Sun, Jet Medallion), enchantment-based (Black Market), and creature-based (Crypt Ghast, Nirkana Revenant).

Step 2: Get stuff onto the field. The early game for this deck involves ramping into a board position with artifacts and enchantments, waiting for our opponents to play things worth killing. Nezumi Graverobber is especially sweet to get out early before graveyards get full.

Step 3: Evaluate the situation. So you have 4 mana now - is it time for Horobi, Death's Wail to make his entrance? Well, not necessarily. Before you play Horobi, think about what he would help you achieve. Does an opponent have unpleasant creatures that need to be dealt with? Do you have ways of targeting those creatures to trigger Horobi? Does one of your opponents have a way to make Horobi's visit short-lived and if so, is the thing that needs killing worth the commander tax?

Step 4: Up the ante. Moving into mid- and late-game, you'll now have enough mana to start playing some bigger threats. As graveyards get filled, Sepulchral Primordial, and Sheoldred, Whispering One give us options while Harvester of Souls and Bloodgift Demon keep our hand full while holding their own on the battlefield.

Step 5: Win. Torment of Hailfire takes opponents' life while Mutilate and Decree of Pain take their board. Phyrexian Obliterator threatens annihilation and feeds Gray Merchant of Asphodel. Commander damage is always an option as well with Horobi picking up Hero's Blade and swinging in for 7.

  • Horobi, Death's Wail - the spirit himself. Horobi is a key element of this deck and many cards are specifically included because of their interaction with his unique ability. Some things to keep in mind: when Horobi's ability triggers, even if Horobi is then killed, his triggered ability is still on the stack and will still resolve unless specifically countered by Stifle, Disallow, Nimble Obstructionist, Voidslime, or Trickbind. As far as I know, those are the only cards that have the words 'counter triggered ability' on them.

  • Hex Parasite, Retribution of the Ancients, and Tetzimoc, Primal Death - Did you know you can remove 0 +1/+1 counters from target permanent (which can actually be used to kill planeswalkers or reset Sagas) or that you can give target creature -0/-0 until end of turn? Tetzimoc, Primal Death can even kill things from the comfort of your own hand.

  • Merciless Executioner, Mutilate, Vona's Hunger, and Phyrexian Obliterator - Indestructibility is a problem for Horobi. These force sacrifice or give -1/-1s to get around it.

  • Karn, Silver Golem and Liquimetal Coating - Mono-black suffers when it comes to dealing with enemy enchantments and artifacts. There are very few ways for black to destroy noncreatures and they all cost 7 mana (Spine of Ish Sah, Unstable Obelisk, Scour from Existence, Universal Solvent, and Lux Cannon, for example). However, black, and especially Horobi, is very good at getting rid of creatures. Liquimetal Coating can turn anything into an artifact. Karn, Silver Golem can turn any artifact into an artifact creature. Do you see where this is going?

  • Hero's Blade - This is important: equipment doesn't work when Horobi is out. Rule 702.6a says "“Equip [cost]” means “[Cost]: Attach this permanent to target creature you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.”" Hero's Blade is an exception to this rule due to its ability to 'auto-equip'. Hero's Blade does not target as long as you use its ability to attach it to a legendary creature and don’t pay its equip cost.

  • Glaring Spotlight, Arcane Lighthouse, and Veilstone Amulet - Indestructible is a problem because we can't destroy target creatures but what if we can't even target them to begin with? Enter Glaring Spotlight and Arcane Lighthouse. Glaring Spotlight just lets us ignore hexproof, plus we can sacrifice it to give our board hexproof and unblockable if we need to. Arcane Lighthouse temporarily removes hexproof and shroud from our opponents' creatures. Veilstone Amulet is one of the most fun cards in this deck. Whenever we play a spell, all creatures we control during any point of our turn gain pseudo-hexproof until end of turn. That means a creature we play later in the turn will also be protected. I say pseduo-hexproof because it is not hexproof. An opponent's Glaring Spotlight will not allow them to target our creatures because Glaring Spotlight cares about the keyword that our creatures will not have.

  • Liliana of the Dark Realms - I don’t know if I’ve ever emblemed her, but the ability to repeatedly tutor lands to our hand is very valuable for both ramp and to improve future draws.

  • Exsanguinate and Torment of Hailfire - Black excels at generating large amounts of mana, these spells give us a way to use all that mana. They aren’t the only win conditions of the deck but they definitely can win the game.

  • Cabal Coffers and Urborg - I suppose Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth also deserves a mention. Urborg kills things even better than Desert does.

  • Desert - Desert can be used to kill attacking creatures a la Maze of Ith (Thaumatic Compass  ) but only during the rarely mentioned ‘end of combat step’. That means after damage is dealt. I find it’s particularly fun to attack with Kokusho, the Evening Star and then, once someone’s taken 5 damage in the air, to activate Desert and kill it to hit them and everyone else for 5 more.

  • Cauldron of Souls - If Horobi is out, this reads "tap, kill any number of creatures". If Horobi is not out, this is just a super useful function in a death-oriented deck.

  • Touch of Darkness - This. This is the most Horobi card out there. For 1 mana at instant speed, you can selectively murder anything you want to.

  • Retreat to Hagra - The true win-con of the deck. Ok, maybe not, but I really like this card and it does a good bit of work.

I appreciate any suggestions you have, especially for early game stuff to do. Also, if you can come up with a good reason I should add Horobi's Whisper, please let me know.


Updates Add


70% Casual

30% Competitive

Date added 2 years
Last updated 1 week

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 0 Mythic Rares

41 - 0 Rares

19 - 0 Uncommons

10 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.00
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, Liliana, 0/1 Goat, 1/1 City's Blessing, None Treasure
Folders EDH, Deck mod ideas
Ignored suggestions
Shared with